Our Lives Now

Yesterday’s NMRA picnic at Dave’s was a modest affair. All told, maybe two dozen people showed up, both from the NMRA division, and my N scale modular club, which was also invited. We filled Dave’s two-car garage with a modest T-Trak layout, my Inglenook puzzle, and a few tables of member for-sale items. People brought their own sandwiches and camp chairs, and ate in a big circle under a pair of canopies erected in his back yard. Everyone had masks, of course. (Don, in fact, had a hundred of them, sewn by his wife in a variety of colorful interest-themed fabrics. I purchased two.) For most of us, it was our first train-related gathering in six months.

At this point, the outlook for the fall shows is not good. Some already cancelled, and the rumors surrounding the others are grim. We’re fortunate to be living in an area where the pandemic has receded, but I see little enthusiasm for behaving as though the battle is won. The timeline for resuming large gatherings seems to be, “sometime after a vaccine is developed.” Who knows when that may be?

So, hobby socializing will continue to happen mostly via Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook Live for the foreseeable future. The prospect thrills no one; “I’m so sick of Zoom” is a sentiment I heard repeatedly yesterday. My friends are being cautious about face-to-face gatherings, even as they crave them desperately. Before we can enjoy a better tomorrow, we need to make it through today.